While its MINI dealerships expand and BMW plans to double North American production, it's even busier behind the scenes working on the next generation of its most compact platform. A handful of new BMW 1-Series variants are rumored to be in the works for the next-gen model, known internally as the F20.
The new variants include a new version of both the Coupe and Cabrio, as well as the Hatchback, but this trio may also be joined by a compact roadster model and potentially a crossover-wagon built in the same vein as the larger 5-Series GT. We do know the automaker is working on a 3-Series GT, which BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has hinted at on several occasions in the past, but now it appears that there could be an even smaller 1-Series GT as well.
Designers will be stressing the car’s coupe characteristics just as they did with the 5-series GT. Expect to see extremely short overhangs, pumped fenders and sporty alloy wheels. This latest computer generated rendering gives a good indication as to what the final car may look like.
The next-generation 1-Series platform is expected to include a range of powertrains. A 1.3-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine could replace the current 1.6-liter four-cylinder. If so, in Europe at least, five models should be available, ranging from about 136 horsepower and topping out at 326 horsepower.
The regular 1-Series Hatchback is expected to hit the market next year but other variants, including the 1-Series GT, won’t arrive until 2012 at the earliest.